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    Our year in review: 2018 highlights

    Highlights and milestones of 2018

    This year marked the beginning of an innovative STEAM2D pilot, launched in partnership with Standard Bank Tutuwa Foundation and Siyafunda CTC, as well as the piloting of the JA More than Money Programme in a Day, where teachers were trained to facilitate the programme. USpeak, the debating series that JA South Africa produced, in partnership with Soweto TV, aired in February and nine JASA alumni graduated from a Rapid Prototype Incubator Programme, hosted in collaboration with Investec and Transnet’s SABS Design Institute. Many new businesses emerged from the Youth Enterprise Development programmes funded by Mastercard and Transnet while the Citi Company of the Year national winners went on to represent South Africa in the African regional finals. JASA actively engaged in several forums on addressing youth unemployment and advancing entrepreneurial skills training in education.


    The year kicked off on a high note, what with recruitment drives and enrolments; training facilitators; meeting teachers and community centre managers; running information sessions and ensuring that materials were delivered for programmes to begin smoothly.

    In addition, we joined the fourth annual STEAM2D Kasi Career Fair roadshow, which launched at the Elkah Stadium in Soweto, where JASA guided over 250 students through the Spaza Game. In March, we repeated the workshops in Mpumalanga and also ran these workshops daily at the Department of Education’s Career Expo in June. Read more here.

    JASA formed an innovative partnership with Standard Bank’s Tutuwa Community Foundation that will provide STEAM2D Programmes to a single cohort of students – in Gauteng, Free State and Mpumalanga – for six consecutive years, as they move from Grade 7 through their high school careers.

    Launched in 2018, the pilot will continue until 2023 and this group of 600+ learners will be exposed to a succession of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design (STEAM2D) Programmes. Read more here.

    In November, the Grade 7 students got their first taste of coding in digital skill workshops, conducted by JASA’s long-term partner Siyafunda CTC. The students not only got to learn the basics of how to use a computer but were also introduced to coding language, Scratch, where they learn to programme a computer game. Read more here.

    Watch the students presenting here:


    The JASA Youth Council had a busy 2017 preparing Gauteng school debating teams to compete in a televised debate competition, USpeak, produced in partnership with Soweto TV. The motions focusing on entrepreneurial issues and the series aired on Soweto TV in the first quarter of 2018. Hosted by Programmes Manager Terence Modiba, the series was adjudicated by Youth Council Members. Here are some behind the scenes photos and a few clips from one of the episodes, edited together to give you a taste of the show.


    During Global Money Week, JASA teamed up with the Department of Education to pilot the More than Money in a Day Programme, with teachers trained to facilitate the five back-to-back sessions. Peter Van Wyk, then Deputy Chief Education Specialist at Gauteng Department of Education, commented that it would really be good to see more of these types of interactive activities and games in the curriculum. Read more here.

    “When you engage them like this the learners enjoy it very much,” Van Wyk said.


    Further More than Money in a Day programmes, sponsored by AIG, were rolled out to three Gauteng primary schools, demonstrating the value of embedding programmes like this into the educational curriculum. Read more here.

    “The connection this programme has with our curriculum is very good. We are still going to start teaching finance this semester so the children are getting a head start in familiarising themselves with the finance terms and ideas.” – EMS Teacher Bongiwe Ngobese


    Nine participants of the pilot Rapid Prototype Accelerator Programme, a partnership between Investec, Transnet and the SABS Design Institute, graduated from the year-long programme, where they developed initial prototypes. These participants had all reached the top three at the Junior Innovators Competition from the prior three years. Read more here.

    Students attending the two Digital Enterprise Programmes sponsored by General Electric’s Londvolota Trust went on a field trip to the GE Innovation Centre, where they were taken through the process of design-centred innovation by GE’s Celiwe Zondo and consultant Kathy Berman. The student teams had a chance to present their ideas and gain constructive feedback. Read more here.


    Three Youth Enterprise Development Programme alumni were awarded cash prizes at a pitching competition for JASA graduates, held by We Connect at their annual conference at Ernst & Young in Sandton on 1 June. Read more here.

    Over 1500 primary and high school learners were exposed to WiSTEM2D careers, through a partnership between J&J and JASA in Gauteng and the Western Cape. This entailed interactive classroom sessions with J&J volunteers and excursions to science and technology centres. The aim was to inspire more girls to pursue studies and careers in WiSTEM2D. Read more here.


    This was a peak month due to the overlapping of Mandela Day and Savings Month campaigns; the national Company of the Year Competition, and several Youth Enterprise Development Programme graduations.

    Funded by Citi, nine provincial teams came to Johannesburg for two days of intensive strategy, finance and pitching workshops. Then six teams were shortlisted in the first round of Company of the Year and the final presentations took place at a showcase event. The winning team was Meraki, from McAuley House, Johannesburg and their programme was funded by Delta. Our MC, guest speaker and judges at the final event were all JASA alumni! Read more here.

    Thanks to generous grants from Delta Air Lines, JASA alumni Kate Kekana and Ashley Dhlamini attended the first ever JA Worldwide Global Youth Forum, held in Mexico. Read more here.

    “My trip to Mexico was the most extravagant trip ever in life, it was eye-opening and life-changing. I can confidently say I’ve travelled the world because I met people from all over the world and made friends and future business partners.” – Katsana Kate Kekana

    On Thursday 26 July, 128 Gauteng-based young women graduated from the coursework component of the JASA Youth Enterprise Development Programme, funded by Mastercard. Other provinces also hosted graduation ceremonies. Mastercard has partnered with JA South Africa for the past eight years, reaching 2 500 young women. Read more here.

    Transnet funded several Youth Enterprise Development Programmes, and many fledgling businesses emerged. In Ivory Park, Sibusiso Mkhwanazi mentored 16 students who had collectively created six businesses. Read more here.

    From the Transnet-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme held at the Umkhumbane Entrepreneurial Support Centre in Durban 24 participants have started 19 business ventures, ranging from the making of clothes, shoes and food to starting crèches and beauty salons, and even venturing into construction. Read more here.

    This Mandela Day, our More than Money in a Day campaign grew massively to reach close on 1200 Grade 7 learners, involving 16 schools in six provinces. With the help of trained volunteers, our facilitators guided the learners through five interactive sessions that introduce good financial habits. Read more here.

    The More than Money Savings Challenge was launched in April, as part of the More than Money programmes sponsored by HSBC. Around 7 500 Grade 7 learners received cardboard money boxes, set savings targets and had twelve weeks to prove they could achieve their targets. Those that did were entered into provincial draws and the highest amount saved was R1650. Read more here.


    The Foundation for the Advancement of Entrepreneurial & Technology Education hosted a conference at GEN Africa at 22 On Sloane, supported by JASA. Chartwell Leadership School is setting a benchmark for entrepreneurial education nationwide and this conference marks the next phase of the foundation, which is to extend the learning to 20 other schools.

    JASA has partnered with Chartwell by running financial literacy programmes. JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng presented on how the organisation’s entrepreneurial capacity can be leveraged in the advancement of this culture of entrepreneurship. Read more here.

    The KZN Stakeholders Breakfast was successful in terms of networking and bringing new donors on board, specifically a dynamic new partnership with Trade and Investment KZN. Read more here


    Funded by Citi, students were pooled from Willomead Secondary in Lenasia, Nova Pioneer High in Ormonde and Curtis Nkondo in Soweto for a Digital Enterprise Programme.

    “I learnt that in life people are either with you or not with you and in our company everyone wanted to be a boss and give orders. No one wanted to do the work but at the end of the day everyone wanted to see the work produced. With that said I ended up creating a business selling snacks and a business where people can record in my studio.” – Participant Celokuhle Ncayiyana

    The group was fortunate to have Rooksana Modan, CEO of Apex Development, facilitating some of the sessions. She was one of the many volunteers who gave of their time to visit sessions and teach, inspire and engage with the students. A big shout out to all our wonderful volunteers. You added a personal touch to the programmes and made them memorable learning experiences for the participants. Read more here.

    Amahle Makwela, one of the students on this programme, also joined the Molo Africa project, where 20 students spent 10 days building the body of a Sling 4 light aircraft. If sufficient funds are raised then the Molo Africa team plan to fly from Cape to Cairo. You can follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buildmyplane/


    Transnet not only funds JA programmes, both in school and out, but has also sponsored the Young Movers Competition for the past five years, from 2014 to 2018, in partnership with the SABS Design Institute.

    Participants on JASA programmes at high schools around the country are eligible to enter, by submitting an innovative business solution. Over the years, many participants have remarked that being on a JASA programme, and then being shortlisted to be a finalist in this competition, has been a life-changing event, where they now see the world through entrepreneurial eyes.

    Every year finalists have impressed the judges by their ability to recognise needs in their communities and come up with creative solutions. The JASA programmes, and competition like these, are vital ways of exposing students to new ways of thinking and providing them with a platform that allows them to explore their creativity and gain confidence in their ability to shape their own futures, irrespective of their socio-economic background. Clinton Mdluli explains what being on a JASA programme and participating in the Young Movers Competition has meant to him here:

    In first place was Terri-Lee Heuvel, from Kensington High in the Western Cape, with her innovation of a watch that can monitor your health. Taking second place, also from Kensington High, was Reece Van der Merwe, who came up with the idea of a wristband with an app that allows parents to locate their children.

    Since 2012, Investec has partnered with JASA to host the Junior Innovators Competition (JIC) and 2018 marked the 7th consecutive year. Once again the lucky three winners received generous grants towards their tertiary studies. They were chosen from the 11 finalists, who were shortlisted from the 27 contestants, who made it through the first round and were privileged to attend the JIC week of workshops and pitches.

    First prize went to Kabelo Thato Nkonyane from the National School of Arts in Johannesburg, with an innovation for a Cashless Tuckshop Card. In second place was Kehauhetswe Diamond Machaka from Kgakoa Secondary School for his Lullaby Pillow that helps babies to sleep. Sibongakonke Zulu from Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School came third for his Early Warning Headphones, aimed at keeping pedestrians safe. For all the photos please click through to our Flickr album. To see all the innovative ideas of this year, you can click here and to see the 2018 participants. You can also read more here.

    In October, JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng was one of the 250 leaders who came together to shape a path forward to ensure that more youth are empowered, at the 5th annual Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment Conference in Stellenbosch. Read more here.

    “Overall, this highly networked and results-driven conference got each stakeholder introspecting on their role and how they can improve their contributions to alleviating youth unemployment,” explains Mofokeng.


    Bank of Tokyo once again generously sponsored a JA Success Skills Programme for Grade 10s at Liberty Community College. Read more here.

    Entrepreneurship Academy Programme beneficiaries from Lamula Jubilee Secondary School attended a leadership and teamwork camp at Bosco Youth Centre in Walkerville, sponsored by Investec.


    The regional JA Africa Company of the Year 2018 was held Ghana in December. JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng, Programmes Manager Terence Modiba, Programmes Coordinator Elias Sebola and three members of the South African winning team Meraki travelled to Accra to attend. Read more here.

    This experience made me see that there are a lot of opportunities out there, that we live in a small world, and that it’s not easy to go out there and be what you want. But, by having hope and inspiration, and applying yourself, you can make your dreams come true.” – Team Member Mmatladi Laka

    View the team’s presentation, which was filmed by JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng from the audience, here:


    Please visit our Alumni page to read or watch more inspiring stories of self-empowerment. There are an estimated 100 million JA alumni alive in the world today and local JASA alumni can connect through Gather to network and access other resources such as free motivational videos posted through JA University.

    My daily motivation is: “The most powerful asset is me, my most powerful obstacle is me. Entrepreneurship Is not about creating a business but about thinking of how you can tackle life in a successful way,” recounts Katsana Kate Kekana, JASA Alumnus

    Together with likeminded organisations like JASA, we can advance opportunities for young South African women by helping them develop the skills and expertise they need to thrive as entrepreneurs, in turn empowering them to better able to provide for themselves and their families. This creates knowledge transfer and employment opportunities for their community, too.” – Mark Elliott, Division President for South Africa at Mastercard

    “Empowering young women to rise above systemic challenges and be able to meaningfully participate in the economy through experiential entrepreneurship training and mentorship is key to developing self-sufficient communities.” – Nelly Mofokeng, Managing Director, JA South Africa